Anthropology: The Basics  book cover
1st Edition

Anthropology: The Basics

ISBN 9780415331203
Published October 3, 2005 by Routledge
224 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The ultimate guide for the student encountering anthropology for the first time, Anthropology: The Basics explains and explores key anthropological concepts including:

  • what is anthropology?
  • how can we distinguish cultural differences from physical ones?
  • what is culture, anyway?
  • how do anthropologists study culture?
  • what are the key theories and approaches used today?
  • How has the discipline changed over time?

This student-friendly text provides an overview of the fundamental principles of anthropology and is an invaluable guide for anyone wanting to learn more about this fascinating subject.

Table of Contents

1. Encountering Cultural Difference  2. Misunderstanding Cultural Difference  3. Social Dos and Dont's  4. African Political Systems  5. Anthropology, History and Imperialism  6. Culture and Language  7. Culture and Nature  8. The End of the Tribes  9. Culture and the Individual  10. Critical Anthropology

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Peter Metcalf is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Virginia. His most recent publications include They Lie, We Lie: Getting On With Anthropology (2000), and Celebrations of Death: The Anthropology of Mortuary Ritual (with Richard Huntington, 1991).


'A good read, with instructive boxes and useful summaries, and it will doubtless whet many's appetite for more.'  Thomas Hylland Eriksen, University of Oslo, Norway